Week #38: Get Serious About Being Happy! :)
September 16, 2007
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This Week's Topic: Get Serious About Being Happy! :)
“…there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” - Ecclesiastes 3:12
would make you happier? I know, I know. It’s a vague question, but
think about it. What is within your control that would genuinely add to
your level of happiness? Whatever it is, this week, I challenge you to
do it. Why? Because happiness can literally prolong your life.
the effect of unhappiness on longevity is comparable to that of
smoking, according to a recent analysis of 30 scientific studies on
happiness. As a society, we all know by now that smoking is dangerous
for your health, but have you ever considered that being unhappy could
have health consequences? It’s time to take your happiness seriously!
years, I thought of being happy as a fleeting pursuit – a temporary
state of being. Spiritually speaking, I believed a more noble aim was
to have joy and be content no matter my circumstances. Of course, those
are important, too. But several years ago, I ran across this scripture
written by the very wise King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes:
is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they
live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all
their toil – this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).
other words, be happy in the everyday activities of life. Find
satisfaction in your work. Help others. It is a divine gift to be happy
when life is a routine. Abraham Lincoln once noted that, “Most people
are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” If he was right,
then happiness is a choice – an approach and an attitude that we choose
to carry into our work, our relationships, and our lives.
listened to a presentation about happiness recently, given by noted
sociologist Dr. Ruut Veenhoven, I was intrigued by his classification
of four qualities of life that comprise overall happiness and
well-being. Consider them (paraphrased below with my definitions and
coaching questions) to help you determine the areas of your life in
which you may have room to enhance your happiness and well-being:
is about the environments in which you live, work and play. Does your
environment nurture you or drain you? Do the circumstances in which you
find yourself empower you to thrive or to merely survive? What would
create a more livable and happier environment for you?
2. Life Abilities
abilities are your personal strengths, knowledge, preparation,
flexibility and potential. They can be developed, explored and improved
upon. Greater personal abilities often create more enjoyable
opportunities. What talents and strengths are going underutilized in
your life? What potential is going untapped?
is someone’s life better because they cross your path? We find the
greatest meaning in life when we live the purpose for which we were
divinely created. And that purpose must be good for something or
someone more than you. This element of happiness is about serving,
helping, and making a difference.
is about your overall satisfaction with your life. Are you content with
where you are? If not, what shift is it time to make? Dissatisfaction
can be a catalyst for change, as long as you are honest about where you
are dissatisfied. What aspects of your life bring you joy?
My challenge to you this week:
Get serious about being happy! Choose a joyful attitude. Do something that brings a smile to your face – or to someone else’s.
would make you happier? How could you experience more happiness in the
everyday activities of your life? Consider the four qualities of life:
livability, life abilities, meaning and satisfaction. In which area(s)
do you feel fulfilled? In which area(s) do you see room to grow?
Until next time ...
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Burton, a life coach and speaker, is the author of Listen to Your Life,
Rich Minds, Rich Rewards, What's Really Holding You Back?, and her
latest, Why Not You?. Subscribe to her FREE, inspirational e-newsletter
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